Week 1: Pentecost: Thy Kingdom Come!
Sunday 31st May to Sunday 7th June
the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and
sat down in the place of honour at God’s right hand. And the disciples went
everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked with them, confirming what they
said by many miraculous signs. Mark 19,20 (NLT)
The gift of the Holy Spirit – is the difference! There were 10 days between the first and second sentences at the end of Mark’s Gospel. 10 days in which the disciples were mainly shut in a room – their own ‘lockdown’. After the Ascension of Jesus they felt alone again – until 10 days later the Holy Spirit descended on them – and then they went out and preached the Good News! As we come out of our lockdown – let us remember all the ways in which God has been with us in His Spirit and let’s tell others of His goodness and grace.
Pray personally: Give thanks to God for the coming of the Holy Spirit – for His presence with us, so that we are never alone; His peace comforting us, so that we are never overwhelmed by events; His power with us, so that we will not be afraid to share our experience of faith with family and friends.
Prayers for those who take the Gospel message to others: At this time we would normally be supporting Christian Aid by fund raising by walking across bridges. Let’s give directly to them through their website (christianaid.org.uk) – and let’s pray for their work. Every place they work in – is a needy and dangerous place for their workers, but even more frighteningly dangerous and difficult for the communities, families and especially young children with whom they work.
Pray for the children of our world: We hear so much talk of how we, in developed, rich, peaceful, successful countries are ‘sacrificing so much during the lockdown’! Yet, for millions of children the world is a much more difficult and dangerous place than we can ever imagine from our lives of privilege and plenty! There are over 100 million street children in the world! Most of these live in places of extreme danger, utter poverty, poor sanitation, little food, and extreme exploitation. Pray for those organisations working with them to bring them shelter, food, education, love – and the Gospel! Look up some of these organisations and pray meaningfully for the children (examples: happychild.org , toybox.org.uk , viva.org ) - and pray often for them, since each new day relentlessly brings the same horrors, pain and anguish. Pray for the national workers called by the Holy Spirit to bring God’s comfort and protection to these children.
Week 2: A global healing?
Monday 8th to Sunday 14th June
‘Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah must suffer and die and rise again from the dead on the third day. With my authority, take this message of repentance to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: there is forgiveness of sins for all who turn to me.’ ‘ You are my witnesses to these things. And now, I will send my Holy Spirit just as the Father promised.’ Luke: 24:46-49a (NLT)
It has been astonishing to see how an invisible, mindless, legless virus has crossed the entire world within days, if not hours, and wrought havoc among all nations and peoples! It has depended on us to be the carriers of its evil! How much more then we should believe that God can heal our world through the Gospel – using us as carriers?
Pray for Graham, Angela and volunteers supporting our own congregation:
Pray for all those in our congregation and beyond who are keeping our church family connected. From Graham delivering the services to those delivering the discs, phone calls, food, messages, video connections etc. This work is so critical and important for us all for these past 9 weeks and into the future.
Pray for Cambusbarron: Pray for our shopkeepers who have kept going throughout the pandemic. Give thanks for their willingness to serve. Our schools are unlikely to open before August, but Head Teachers and staff are already in touch with new intakes for nursery, primary and secondary pupils. This is new and challenging and staff and pupils still fear the virus, yet they are keen to support their children in learning. The emotional welfare of children and staff will be as challenging as the practicalities of social distancing. They all need our prays and support – let us pray!
Our World – Pray for our missionaries, Joel and Fiona Hafvenstein: in their March letter, Joel and Fiona ask us to pray for: “1. the continued protection of Nepal from a coronavirus outbreak. 2. UMN's hospitals as they prepare for an epidemic at a time of equipment scarcity and collapsing revenue. 3. Patience and joy for our family during extended times of lockdown. 4. Smooth government approvals for all of UMN's work.” In Britain we owe so much to the Ghurkha people also, for their help and support in difficult times and we pray for them and all the Nepalese people – may they prosper and share in the joy of the Gospel. Pray for the King and the government of Nepal.
Pray for the bereaved: So
many deaths have been sudden and unexpected that families have been left
shocked and traumatised as well as dealing with the loss of loved ones. Every
day our political leaders say their ‘thoughts and prayers are with those
bereaved and grieving.’ Let’s ensure these prayers happen! Let us pray!
Week 3: Suppressing the Good News??
Monday 15th to Sunday 21st June
‘But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will
receive power and will tell people about me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout
Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth.’ Acts 1:8 (NLT)
Christianity spread across the world because individual Christians told the people around them about Jesus and spoke about their own personal experience of Him. People are ‘the carriers’ of the good news! However, is the spread of the joy faith brings being slowed down (suppressed) by our own lack of faith, our lack of willingness to pass on the Good News? Pray that Christians may not ‘suppress the curve’ of God’s Good News of healing and life! Pray for the power to tell the story of our faith in Him!
Pray for families and children around us: Many families live very challenging lives – without the effect of a virus! For these families, the virus is just an added stress. Pray for parents coping with children with such learning difficulties that make it difficult for their children to understand what is happening around them and for the children themselves who don’t know why life has changed. Let parents know you are praying for them. Pray for our local organisations seeking to provide appropriate help and support.
CARE: social care homes and staff: Managers and staff in care homes are still in the midst of the crisis and many have risked their lives daily and worked tirelessly in the service of others. Pray for their resilience and pray God will hear their prayers and pray God will encourage them by directing to them the supply of resources for which they are praying – Lord, hear their prayers!
Pray for a new social cohesion in our communities: Pray that we don’t lose the ‘social cohesion’ we see and are appreciating in the acts of kindness, politeness and consideration of others being shown at present. In the midst of the new ‘social distancing’ we are experiencing the innate desire of human beings to look after each other.
The Children’s Society: In this week, the Children’s Society ask us to pray for the places in our world and our country where there is hatred based on politics, creed or race and where children and young people are living in hostile environments where straying into the wrong area can be fatal. Pray for children who are bullied and suffer poor mental health because they look or act differently. Pray for children trapped in modern day slavery.
Pray again for, and with, the bereaved: For many, young and older, who have lost their fathers through
this crisis – Father’s Day will be a very difficult, trying time. Let us pray
for and support those we know will be finding this a difficult day. Let’s let
them know they have our love and prayerful support!
Week 4: Thy Kingdom come! Prayer and
Monday 22nd to Tuesday 30th June
all met together continually for prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus,
several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.’ Acts 1: 14 … ‘And all the
believers met together constantly and shared everything they had. They sold
their possessions and shared the proceeds with those in need.’ Acts 2: 44,45
The Very Reverend Bob Key in leading the ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ reflections for 2020 states: ‘Thy Kingdom Come is about change: the great change that occurs in a person’s life when they accept Jesus as Lord and welcome him as Saviour, Master and Friend….. “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” (2 Cor. 5:17)’ So, the Kingdom comes, and is added to, each time someone is made anew in Christ. This happens when people share their faith, pray together, show each other care, and others believe. The characteristic dynamic of the new kingdom of God is a community sharing faith, prayer and care.
Prayer and Care: Rev. Key quotes Thomas Cranmer: ‘If the profession of faith of the remission of our own sins enter within us into the deepness of our hearts, then it must kindle a warm fire of love in our hearts towards God and toward all others for the love of God….” The Kingdom of God is made real when we truly love every other person in our congregation, pray for them and care for them. Pray our church community may be a fellowship where every person in the church thinks the very best of every other person; where no one holds any grudge or judgement on another; where forgiven and mutual support show the love of Jesus by all, for all! Let’s try to recall every person in the congregation, then think about them in love, pray for them in love – and look forward to sharing fellowship with them.
Pray for our Nations: The challenges facing all our governments are unprecedented and the burden of governing has never been greater. Pray for those whose responsibility it is to make decisions that will guide and guard the health, wealth and wellbeing of our people. Pray daily for different issues troubling them – and troubling us.
Pray for the opportunity for renewal: Pray that after all of this, we don’t lose the kindness and generosity that’s been so apparent, not just in our village but also in the wider world. Fundamentally people care about other people – sometimes we just need to remember to do it. Pray for a turning to God – so that the Spirit of our God of love - may be a reality in our nation.
Pray – Thy Kingdom Come